Daily headlines

January 2022 headlines

Keep up with January 2022’s news with our digest of daily updated headlines about the business, regulation and campaigns around UK fracking, shale, and onshore oil and gas.

Wressle oil site in North Lincolnshire. Photo: Union Jack Oil

Click here for headlines from previous months. Please let us know if we’ve missed something important  contact@DrillOrDrop.com


Monday 31 January 2022

Oklahoma’s oil regulator to shut some disposal wells following large quake. Reuters reports that Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator has shut deep saltwater disposal wells and restricted others near where a large earthquake rattled homes and businesses earlier in the day. The quake had a magnitude of 4.5. No damage was reported.

The UK oil and gas industry’s trade body is expanding to cover low-carbon energy generation – and getting a new name. OGUK, the representative body of UK offshore oil and gas, reports it is expanding to include low-carbon technologies and changing its name to Offshore Energies UK

Thursday 27 January 2022

Living near fracking sites raises risk of premature death for elderly, US study finds. The Guardian reports on a study by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health which studied the health records of 15 million people in significant drilling areas from 2001-2015. It found that elderly people living near or downwind from unconventional oil and gas wells such as fracking sites are more likely to die prematurely.

Five parties in Angus Energy sale talks. Angus Energy reports that it has begun “constructive engagement” with five parties over the company’s sale.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Maps show which East Yorkshire villages could be drilled under by oil and gas company, Rathlin Energy. DrillOrDrop report

Comments deadline approaches on three more years at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-B site in East Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

John Sauven steps down as head of Greenpeace UK. Business Green reports that the Greenpeace UK executive director is to step down after 14 years.

Energy crisis: A third of people blame ‘profiteering’ by energy companies for gas price rises – new poll. Sky News reports on a poll by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit which found that only 13% agreed that removing green levies from bills was the answer to surging fuel costs and even few through that fracking or extracting more gas from the North Sea was the right approach. More than a third blamed energy company profiteering.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Egdon Resources appeals against refusal of oil production at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire Wolds AONB. DrillOrDrop report

Mark Ruffalo joins international campaign calling for NI fracking ban. The Irish Times reports that anti-fracking activists including Mark Ruffalo are stepping up a campaign targeted at Sinn Féin amid claims that the party is not doing enough to prevent this form of petroleum extraction in Northern Ireland.

Monday 24 January 2022

New Dorset oil production plans back under consideration. DrillOrDrop report on new documents submitted for South Western Energy’s oil production plans for Puddletown.

Glasgow climate promises will be “just words on a page” without action – COP26 president. DrillOrDrop report on a speech by the COP26 president, Alok Sharma. Also reported by the Times

Climate change: More drilling for North Sea gas is an unrealistic strategy for bringing down energy prices, Alok Sharma says. Sky News reports comments by the COP26 president that more North Sea gas would better protect the UK from deliberate squeezing of supply by Russia or bring down prices. He said:

“Even if you were extracting more right now from the North Sea Basin, ultimately the price that’s going to be generated is going to be the international wholesale gas price.

“The idea that you will suddenly change things, and that will impact the price of wholesale gas internationally, I don’t think that is realistic.”

Large Permian Basin methane leaks are causing as much climate pollution as 500,000 cars. Yale Environment 360 reports on a survey by Carbon Mapper and the Environmental Defense Fund which found 30 super-emiters in oil and gas facilities in Texas and New Mexico, which are leaking as much heat-trapping pollution as roughly half a million cars.

Editorial: Oil drilling near homes is dangerous and unhealthy. California should end the practice. The LA Times editorial says California has lagged behind when it comes to protecting its own people from the impacts of oil drilling. The paper says:

“The state has allowed companies to extract oil essentially wherever they please — near homes and schools, child care centers and hospitals — exposing millions in mostly low-income communities of color to health-damaging pollution and noise.”

Sunday 23 January 2022

UK’s biggest private pension fund to shift £5bn away from polluters. The Guardian reports the UK’s biggest private pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, will shift £5bn of its investment in equities to an index avoiding the worst polluters, in a move that will immediately reduce the carbon emissions associated with the shareholdings by 30%.

Major investor will target bosses at firms failing on climate. The BBC reports Aviva Investors, one of the UK’s major investment funds, has said it will vote to try to get directors kicked out of firms that fail to make good on environmental pledges.

Saturday 22 January 2022

Utilising the UK’s oil and gas reserves is not inconsistent with net zero. The former communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, writing in the Telegraph, says

“It is not inconsistent with our net zero commitment to utilise the UK’s oil and gas reserves. Natural gas accounts for 40 per cent of our electricity generation and we cannot put a significant dent in this figure any time soon.”

[The UK government aims to completely decarbonise the power sector by 2035 and has pledged to immediately end direct support for fossil fuel projects overseas.]

Friday 21 January 2022

Ineos faces legal challenge over plans for plastics plant in Antwerp. The Guardian reports Ineos is facing a legal challenge from Client Earth, acting with 13 other NGOs, over plans to to build a giant plastics plant in Antwerp.

Thursday 20 January 2022

Onshore shale gas company goes out of business. DrillOrDrop report

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Wressle well production could top 1,500 barrels of oil per day – new estimate. DrillOrDrop report

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Three campaigners lose legal challenge against OGA and BEIS on UK oil and gas strategy. DrillOrDrop report

Can do much more with renewables” Labour adamant fracking is not way forward for Britain. The Express reports on an interview with Labour’s John Ashworth

Monday 17 January 2022

Peers defeat government anti-protest laws in debate on Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill. DrillOrDrop report

Six expressions of interest in Angus Energy sale. DrillOrDrop report

Modelling based on data from Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site predicts a single gas well could exceed production from many North Sea fields. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors, Vox Markets

Charities urge government to ramp up insulation and clean energy to tackle cost of living crisis. Business Green reports charities, including Save the Children, Age-UK, End Fuel Poverty Coalition, WWF, Green Alliance, Faith for the Climate, Tearfund, and Greenpeace, have called for increased funding for energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy technologies.

Saturday 15 January 2022

Thousands join nationwide protests against Police and Crime bill, which will be voted on by the Lords on Monday. DrillOrDrop report

Friday 14 January 2022

Dorset oil site continues to vent legally hundreds of tonnes of methane. DrillOrDrop report

Bedford council agrees to end fossil fuel investments for pension funds. Bedford Today report

Extinction Rebellion activists cleared by jury after one glued himself to train. The Telegraph and others report that Reverend Sue Parfitt, 79, Father Martin Newell, 54, and Philip Kingston, 85, were found not guilty of obstructing trains or carriages on the railway during climate protests in 2019.

Thursday 13 January 2022

Renewables company Wolfland Group takes over fracking firm Third Energy to rescue stranded assets – the company’s new owners and managers talk to DrillOrDrop in an extended interview. Also reported by Gazette and Herald, Guardian (14/1/22), Green Reporter (14/1/22), Yorkshire Post (14/1/22)

Fracking and nuclear won’t cut fuel bills – Yorkshire Post Letters. Chas Ball writes that fracking for gas or switching to nuclear are unlikely to reduce fuel bills.

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Campaigners bring two separate legal challenges to government’s net zero strategy. DrillOrDrop report, Guardian

Oil firms’ green moves ‘failing’ The Times reports that the oil and gas industry is failing to convince the public of its green credentials despite setting net zero goals and investing in renewables. The paper quotes a survey in Barclays which found that more than 60% of UK adults had a negative perception of the oil industry.

Exxon Mobil launches sale of US shale gas properties – marketing document. Reuters reports Exxon Mobil launched the sale of shale gas properties over 27,000 acres in the Appalachian basin on Ohio.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Onshore gas industry hits back at senior Tory’s criticism of Dunsfold drilling plans. DrillOrDrop report

Union Jack shares rise after oil firm hits USD2 million revenue mark. Morning Star reports a statement from Union Jack that it has raised $2m from oil production at the Wressle site in Lincolnshire since August 19 2021.

Mass flaring at INEOS in Grangemouth could be seen from Edinburgh last night. The Daily Record reports that an orange glow over Grangemouth from mass flaring at Ineos could be seen 20 miles away.

Monday 10 January 2022

Board change at IGas. DrillOrDrop report on retirement of non-exec chairman

Why fracking won’t solve energy crisis – Yorkshire Post Letters. Simon Bowens, Friends of the Earth regional campaigner for Yorkshire, writing in the Yorkshire Post, said fracking is “being sold as the solution to our energy woes but simply replacing one dirty fuel for another won’t make our most vulnerable warmer, and it certainly won’t save the planet”.

Sunday 9 January 2022

Tories call on Treasury to fund green energy plans. The BBC reports that the Conservative Environment Network of 116 MPs says the government should fund environmental and social energy policies from the Treasury, instead of from consumer bills.

Government invites oil companies to help write rulebook on whether new fossil fuel drilling is green. The Independent labels its report on a government consultation as Exclusive. DrillOrDrop reported on this on 20 December 2021.

Saturday 8 January 2022

Extraordinary” Dunsfold drilling plan takes UK in wrong direction – ex Tory leadership contender. DrillOrDrop report on comments by senior Conservative, Jeremy Hunt, at demonstration against UKOG’s plans in Dunsfold

Lancashire anti-fracking campaigners anger over legal threat over current ban. The Blackpool Gazette and local sister papers report that Lancashire opponents of fracking have told gas industry bosses to stop wasting time and money, after a letter was sent to the Government threatening legal action over the current moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for gas.

Friday 7 January 2022

Latest UK onshore oil production data – September 2021. DrillOrDrop report

Thursday 6 January 2022

Minister to decide planning appeal on Dunsfold/Loxley gas exploration site in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

Angus Energy up for sale – company statement says it is considering approaches. DrillOrDrop report, Market Watch

Revised production plans published for West Newton-A in East Yorkshire – what’s different. DrillOrDrop report

Wednesday 5 January 2022

Fossil fuel firms among biggest spenders on Google ads that look like search results. The Guardian reports on research which shows one in five ads served on search results for 78 climate-related terms placed by firms with interests in fossil fuels. Fossil fuel companies and their associates are among the biggest spenders on ads designed to look like Google search results, the paper says.

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Reserves based lending redetermination completed. IGas reports it has completed its scheduled six-monthly RBL facility redetermination process, which confirmed it had £19.3m of debt capacity.

Fracking? Let the Lancastrians decide. Harry Phibbs, writing for Conservative Home, recommends a local referendum in Lancashire on fracking.

Monday 3 January 2022

It’s time for consultants to take the ethical high road and not facilitate fracking. Guest post from Professor Andrew Watterson, of Stirling University, for DrillOrDrop, also picked up by The National (5/1/2022)


Fury as EU moves ahead with plans to label gas and nuclear as ‘green’. The Guardian reports the European Commission is facing a furious backlash over plans to allow gas and nuclear to be labelled as “green investments”.

Sunday 2 January 2022

Tackle cost of living crisis by scrapping energy bill tax, Tories urge Boris Johnson. A letter published in the Sunday Telegraph and signed by 19 Conservative MPs and a Conservative Peer calls on the government to support shale gas extraction. The MPs included:

This story was reported widely by news websites but often without context about the letter’s signatories.

Saturday 1 January 2022

No UK onshore oil or gas wells drilled in 2021 – official data. DrillOrDrop report on the first year since 1935 where no oil and gas wells have been drilled onshore in the UK.

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